Rita’s Recipe: Lentil Salad with Grapes and Feta
Ezek. 4:9 “During the first 390 days eat bread made of flour mixed from wheat, barley, beans, lentils and spelt…..”
There’s also a passage in Genesis 25: 25-34 where Jacob traded his bread and lentil soup for Esau’s birthright.
Dried beans and peas were a mainstay of the Biblical people’s diet. Lentils were (and are) cheap and plentiful. Ancient recipes call for roasted, ground lentils honey and olive oil made into a type of dough. That makes me think of Ezekiel bread!
Brown and green lentils are the most common. I use the green French lentils in lentil salads like the one I’m sharing today because they don’t get quite as mushy as the common gray brown lentil, which is what I grew up with. Brown lentils are delicious in lentil soups, since they lend a creaminess to the soup after they’re cooked.
There’s a reddish orange or red lentil that’s smaller and more round. When you cook them, they get real creamy and turn yellow. There are also yellow lentils. So there’s a nice variety to choose from.
LENTIL SALAD WITH GRAPES AND FETA
This is good stuffed into pita halves, as well as eaten as a side dish. Go to taste on the dressing – I always add a little more vinegar after I mix it up.
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup French or brown lentils
- 3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
- 2 cups seedless red grapes, halved
- 1-2 ribs celery, chopped or sliced thin
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- Up to 1 cup (4 oz.) crumbled Feta
- Handful fresh greens, chopped (optional but good – I used spinach)
- Salt and ground pepper
In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add lentils, reduce to a simmer, and cover; cook until lentils are tender, about 20-30 minutes. Drain and rinse under cool water.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together red-wine vinegar, lemon juice, and honey. Whisk in olive oil. Stir in lentils, walnuts, grapes, celery, spinach, and thyme. Add feta. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
(Adapted from Julie Sun.)
Rita Nader Heikenfeld writes a weekly syndicated column and blog for the Community Press, appears every Thursday on the Son Rise Morning Show, and is the author of several cookbooks. An adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati, she is Certified Culinary Professional and Certified Modern Herbalist, the Culinary Professional for Jungle Jim’s Eastgate, and a media personality with a cable show and YouTube videos. In 2014 she was inducted into the Escoffier Hall of Fame. She lives “in the sticks” outside Batavia, Ohio with her family, where they heat with wood, raise chickens for eggs, and grow their own produce and herbs. You’ll find all her previous recipes featured on The Catholic Beat here.
Rita’s Bible Foods segment airs on the Son Rise Morning Show every Thursday morning at 7:22 am (rebroadcast Friday at 6:02 am). Tune in to hear her discuss the history behind each recipe and the scripture verses that inspired it. And of course, for cooking tips!
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